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Flash’s evolution is quality, even for the fast-changing computer software world. First released in 1996 under the name FutureSplash, it was a tool for creating web-based animations. It’s still the go-to lớn application for that job; however, along the way it’s acquired new capabilities. Today, Flash powers Clip websites lượt thích YouTube & Hulu (Figure 1). It’s used to develop desktop applications lượt thích eBay Desktop. As you read this, Flash/ActionScript pros are developing the next generation of apps for handheld devices lượt thích the Droid RAZR & the iPhone. Flash has grown up with the World Wide Web và managed to lớn carve sầu out an important niche. In fact, there are a whole slew of programs that make use of Flash giải pháp công nghệ. They include Flex, Flash Builder, & Flash Catalyst. Still, if you want to lớn learn Flash’s design và animation features as well as its programming và development features, then Flash Professional CS6 is the place to lớn start.

Here are just some of the things you can bởi with Flash:


Multitruyền thông websites. Today’s websites include motion, video, background music, and above sầu all, interactive sầu objects. Flash’s built-in programming language, ActionScript, was designed khổng lồ create interactive sầu objects. You can create eye-catching, attention-grabbing websites with Flash. It’s your choice whether you sprinkle Flash bits on various pages or go whole-hog and develop a 100 percent Flash site.

Presentations. PowerPoint presentations are fine…up khổng lồ a point. With Flash, you can create self-running presentations that are more creative và have a higher degree of interactivity.

Customer service kiosks. Many of the kiosks you see in stores và building lobbies use Flash to help customers find what they need. For example, photo kiosks walk customers through the process of transferring images from their digital cameras & ordering prints; kiosks in banks let customers withdraw funds, check interest rates, và make deposits.

Television and film effects. The Hollywood set has been known khổng lồ use Flash khổng lồ create visual effects for TV shows & even small feature films. But where the TV and film industry is seriously adopting Flash is on promotional websites, where designers can wed Flash graphics khổng lồ scenes taken from their movies & shows khổng lồ present powerful trailers, interactive sầu tours of movie and show sets, and teasers.

Games and other programs. With support for runtime scripting, back-kết thúc data transfers, & interactive controls like buttons và text boxes, Flash has everything a programmer needs to create entertaining, professional-looking games.

thiết bị di động apps. With Flash CS6, the biggest change is the ease with which you can develop apps for điện thoại devices, from iPads to Androids.


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Flash has been evolving và adding features at a breakneông xã pace since Adobe acquired Macrotruyền thông at the kết thúc of 2005. There are many benefits lớn being part of Adobe’s Creative sầu Suite, primarily the smooth interaction with applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, & Dreamweaver. If you’ve used other Adobe programs, you’ll also welcome the consistency in drawing, text, và color-choosing tools. By the same token, if you’re new khổng lồ the Adobe family, the skills you learn in Flash will come in handy if you move sầu on to other Adobe products.

The last few versions of Flash Professional introduced a slew of new features. For example, CS4 added a more powerful, yet easy-to-use motion tween, complete with Motion Editor. New 3-D capabilities opened up the world of motion, và IK Bones (inverse kinematics) made it easy for animators lớn links objects for realistic movement. Flash CS5 added a new text engine called Text Layout Framework (TLF), which provides the kind of text control that you’d find in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, & Adobe simplified the mysterious process of phông embedding. IK bones were enhanced with a new Spring property. ActionScript coding was made easier with code snippets—cut & paste bits of code that are easy lớn drop inlớn your document. Code hinting provides an instant reference và tips on what to lớn vì chưng next. Flash CS5 also made it easier lớn build Adobe AIR projects that run as standalone programs on Windows, Mac, và Linux computers. An interyên ổn release, Flash CS5.5 added the ability khổng lồ develop apps for iOS (iPhones & iPads) & Android devices.

Of course, all those features are covered in this book, along with the latest batch of enhancements. Flash CS6 comes quickly on the heels of the incremental release CS5.5 và refines many of the features added then. The development of Smartphone apps heads the list:


App development for multiple devices. It’s easier than ever lớn develop an application that works on desktops (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and điện thoại devices like smartphones & tablets. Flash enhancements make it easier khổng lồ chia sẻ files & scale projects for a variety of screen sizes.

Built-in iPhone and iPad tablet App Packager. The much-publicized squabble between Apple & Adobe is at least partially resolved. Using Flash, you can build apps for all of Apple’s iDevices.

Built-in Android ứng dụng packager. Use your Flash skills khổng lồ build apps for Android smartphones & tablets. Test your apps immediately on devices connected by USB cables.

The Simulator is a new tool used when you’re debugging điện thoại apps. It gives you the ability khổng lồ demo mobile features, such as touchscreen gestures, on your desktop computer.

Bundle AIR runtime with apps. If you’re publishing apps, now you can include the AIR runtime with your apps, saving your audience the extra step of downloading the runtime.

Templates and code snippets for mobile devices. Adobe has added to the library of templates & code snippets, making it easier to develop apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android sản phẩm điện thoại devices. You’ll find snippets that show how to interact with touchscreen gestures such as swipes and pinches. Templates show how to use built-in accelerometers và geo-location features.

Sạc Pin IK bones. Pinning locks IK bones to lớn a specific position on the stage, making it much easier lớn create poses và control your models.

Copying layers. Flash preserves structure & other details when copying layers between files và projects.

Symbol rasterization. The cabít as bitmap feature converts vector art to lớn bitmaps, increasing Smartphone device performance, CPU efficiency, và improving battery life.

Auto-save and tệp tin recovery. Like your favorite word processor, Flash now has a feature that automatically saves your documents. Should disaster strike, you’re less likely khổng lồ thất bại your work.

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Incremental compilation. Flash is smarter when compiling (publishing) your document for testing. As a result, there’s a shorter wait when you repeatedly make changes và test your work.


Animators used khổng lồ draw each and every frame by hvà. Sure, they developed some shortcuts, but that’s still hundreds or thousands of images depending on the length of the animation. Major animation houses employed whole armies of graphic artists, each charged with producing hundreds of drawings that represented a mere fraction of the finished work. What we chuckled at for a scant few minutes took weeks và dozens of tired, cramped hands to lớn produce. One mistake, one spilled drop of coffee, và these patient-as-Job types would have to grab fresh paper và start all over again. When everything was done, the animation would have sầu khổng lồ be put together—much lượt thích one of those flip books where you flip pages real fast to see a story play out—while it was being filmed by special cameras.

With Flash on your computer, you have sầu the equivalent of a kiến thiết studio at your fingertips. You provide the inspiration, and Flash can help you generate pro-unique animations & full-blown interactive applications.


UPhường. TO SPEED: An Animation by Any Other Name

You may occasionally hear Flash animations referred lớn (by books, websites, & even Flash’s own documentation) as movies. Perhaps that’s technically accurate, but it sure can be confusing.

QuickTime’s .mov files are also called movies, and some people refer to lớn video clips as movies; but khổng lồ Flash, these are two very different animals. In addition, Flash lets you create và work with movie clips, which are something else entirely. And movie, with its connotations of quietly sitting in a theater balcony eating popcorn, doesn’t convey one of the most important features Flash offers: interactivity.

Here’s the most accurate way to lớn describe what you create using Flash: a trang web, program, or app with a really cool, animated interface. Unfortunately, that mô tả tìm kiếm is a bit long and unwieldy, so in this book, what you create using Flash is called an animation or an app.


It’s pretty incredible, when you think about it. A few hundred bucks và a few hours spent working with Flash, & you’ve got an animation that, just a few years ago, you’d have sầu had khổng lồ pay a swarm of professionals union scale khổng lồ produce. Sweet! Naturally, if you’re new to lớn animation, it will go easier if you learn the basic terms, tricks, and techniques used by Flash animators.


Say you work for a company that does custom tự động refinishing. First assignment: Design an intro page for the company’s new trang web. You have the following idea for an animation:

The first thing you want your audience lớn see is a beat-up jalopy limping along a đô thị street toward the center of the screen, where it stops and morphs into a shiny, like-new car as your company’s jingle plays in the background. A voice-over informs your audience that your company has been in business for trăng tròn years và offers the best prices in town.

Across the top of the screen, you’d lượt thích to display the company hình ảnh sản phẩm, as well as a navigation bar with buttons—labeled Location, Services, Prices, and Contact—that your audience can cliông xã to get more information about your company. But you also want each part of the car to lớn be a clickable hotspot. That way, when someone clicks one of the car’s tires, he’s whisked off to lớn a page describing custom wheels & hubcaps; when he clicks the car’s body toàn thân, he sees prices for dent repair và repainting; & so on.

Here’s how you might go about creating this animation in Flash:


The scenario described above sầu is pretty simple, but it covers the basic steps you need khổng lồ take when creating any Flash animation.


Clicking. This book gives you three kinds of instructions that require you khổng lồ use your computer’s mouse or trackpad. To click means to point the arrow cursor at something on the screen and then—without moving the cursor at all—to lớn press & release the left clicker button on the mouse (or máy vi tính trackpad). To double-click, of course, means to cliông xã twice in rapid succession, again without moving the cursor at all. And to drag means to move sầu the cursor while pressing the left button continuously.

Choice is good. Flash frequently gives you several ways khổng lồ trigger a particular command—by choosing a thực đơn commvà, or by clicking a toolbar button, or by pressing a key combination, for example. Some people prefer the tốc độ of keyboard shortcuts; others like the satisfaction of a visual comm& array available in menus or toolbars. This book lists all the alternatives, but by no means are you expected lớn memorize all of them.


Despite the many improvements in software over the years, one feature has grown consistently worse: documentation. With the purchase of most software programs these days, you don’t get a single page of printed instructions. To learn about the hundreds of features in a program, you’re expected to use online electronic help.

But even if you’re comfortable reading a help screen in one window as you try to lớn work in another, something is still missing. At times, the terse electronic help screens assume you already understand the discussion at hand & hurriedly skip over important topics that require an in-depth presentation. In addition, you don’t always get an objective evaluation of the program’s features. (Engineers often add technically sophisticated features lớn a program because they can, not because you need them.) You shouldn’t have sầu khổng lồ waste your time learning features that don’t help you get your work done.

The purpose of this book, then, is khổng lồ serve sầu as the manual that should have sầu been in the box. In this book’s pages, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for using every Flash feature, including those you may not have sầu quite understood, let alone mastered, such as working with đoạn Clip or drawing objects with ActionScript. In addition, you’ll find clear evaluations of each feature that help you determine which ones are useful to lớn you, as well as how and when khổng lồ use them.


Note

This book periodically recommends other books, covering topics that might interest Flash designers and developers. Careful readers may notice that not every one of these titles is published by Missing Manual parent company O’Reilly Media. While we’re happy to lớn mention other Missing Manuals & books in the O’Reilly family, if there’s a great book out there that doesn’t happen khổng lồ be published by O’Reilly, we’ll still let you know about it.


Flash CS6: The Missing Manual is designed for readers of every skill cấp độ, except the super-advanced programmer. If Flash is the first image creation or animation program you’ve ever used, you’ll be able to dive sầu right in using the explanations & examples in this book. If you come from an animation or multitruyền thông media background, you’ll find this book a useful reference for unique Flash topics such as the motion tweens and the Motion Editor. The primary discussions are written for advanced-beginner or intermediate computer users. But if you’re a first-timer, special sidebar articles called Up lớn Speed provide the introductory information you need to understand the topic at hvà. If you’re an advanced user, on the other h&, keep your eye out for similar shaded boxes called Power nguồn Users’ Clinic. They offer more technical tips, tricks, & shortcuts for the experienced Flash tín đồ. The Design Time boxes explain the art of effective sầu multimedia kiến thiết.

The ActionScript programming language is a broad, complex subject. This book isn’t an exhaustive reference manual, but it gives you a great introduction to lớn ActionScript programming, providing working examples và clear explanations of ActionScript principles.


Flash Professional CS6 works almost precisely the same in its Macintosh and Windows versions. You’ll find the same buttons in almost every dialog box. Occasionally, they’ll be dressed up differently. In this book, the illustrations have sầu been given even-handed treatment, rotating between Windows 7 and Mac OS X.

Shortcut keys are probably the area where the Mac và Windows versions differ the most. Often where Windows uses the Ctrl key, Macs use the ⌘ key. You’ll find some other relatively minor differences, too.

Whenever this book refers khổng lồ a key combination, you’ll see the Windows keystroke listed first (with + symbols, as is customary in Windows documentation); the Macintosh keystroke follows in parentheses (with - symbols, in time-honored Mac fashion). In other words, you might read, “The keyboard shortcut for saving a file is Ctrl+S (⌘-S).”